Normandy and Brittany

Culture, History, and Hiking in Northern France

Overview

With dramatic coastlines, tiny stone villages, medieval abbeys, and renowned cuisine, Normandy and Brittany are the perfect settings for our cultural hiking adventure. We visit the D-Day beaches with a historian, walk across tidal flats to iconic Mont-Saint-Michel, and experience the most breathtaking stretches of Brittany’s unique coast on wonderful hikes. Culinary treats abound, including cider fresh from the orchards, sweet crêpes, savory galettes, and a bounty of local seafood from moules marinières to scampi (Louis XIV had Brittany’s Cancale oysters brought to him at Versaille). Join us for delightful hikes, history, and cuisine.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
Caen / Bayeux / D-Day Beaches / Mont-Saint-Michel

We view the 11th century Bayeux Tapestry, then head to the coast to hike the D-Day cliff path to Arromanches-les-Bains and visit the American war cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, Omaha Beach, and Pointe du Hoc, where a historian brings the dramatic events of D-Day to life for us. We’ll savor the cuisine of the north coast, sampling Normandy’s famed cheeses and tasting local Calvados brandy. Mont-Saint-Michel, a site of pilgrimage since the 8th century, rises like a mirage from the sands of the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel. We hike the coast for stunning views, then approach this sanctuary on foot, crossing the bay at low tide. Our private visit lets us see rooms and chapels at Mont-Saint-Michel that the general public doesn’t have access to.

Château de Sully
Bayeux, France
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights)
Le Manoire de la Roche Torin
Courtils, France
Days 3 to 4 (2 nights)
Days 5-6
Cancale / Saint Malo / Dinan

At Cancale, we’ll sample the tastiest oysters in Brittany, visit the charming port of Saint Malo, and hike along the river Rance past half-timbered houses. We explore Dinan, a 13th century Breton town surrounded by medieval walls, with a specialist guide.

Days 7-10
Côte de Granit Rose / Ploumanac’h

Surreal rockscapes of glistening rose-tinted crags line this exquisite section of Brittany’s coast known as the Côte de Granit Rose. Our hikes follow coastal trails leading to Brittany’s most revered pilgrimage site, and we’ll see Castel Meur, the famous stone house wedged between two huge rock outcrops. We explore Tréguier, a gem of a medieval town, savor plates of delicious fruits de mer, and enjoy our historic seaside hotel set along pink granite rocks in the village of Ploumanac’h. Depart on Day 10 via Guingamp.

Castel Beau Site
Perros Guirec, France
Days 7 to 9 (3 nights)

Highlights

Highlights

See the extraordinary 11th century Bayeux Tapestry depicting the Norman Conquest of England
Visit the evocative D-Day sites of Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach with a historian
Hike to spire-topped Mont-Saint-Michel, France’s famous island-abbey
Explore the most spectacular coastal trails on Brittany’s coast
Savor fresh seafood, famous oysters, legendary cheeses, crisp ciders and ales of Normandy and Brittany along with classic French wines

Details

Length: 10 days
Cost From: $6295  
Arrive: Caen, France
Depart: Guingamp, France
Lodging: 9 nights charming hotels and coastal inns
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 2 dinners as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures, Culinary
Trip Level:

Easy to moderate walks and hikes, 3-6 hours a day, van support